“My name is Tristan and I have been on a six week placement at Birmingham Settlement. It has been a great experience learning new skills and meeting new people. I have done a wide range of admin duties and have worked with the Fundraising and Communications team mainly. I use a database called Harlequin to input data entry like client donation sheets for Gift Aid. The duties I have been doing include:
- Learning what Gift Aid is,
- Inputting new donors on the database,
- Gift Aid donation sheets in a spreadsheet,
- Making judgements about what information to include.
- Mystery Shopper feedback sheets in a Word document,
- I put letters and booklets in envelopes to be posted,
- I also phoned some of the charity shops to get information for donor sheets,
- I learned about the importance of financial codes/campaigns for post etc to help monitor/report where money has come from and gone,
- I got taught how to upload pictures and videos on the blog and on the Birmingham settlement website as well.
- I learned about ways of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) including adding links and tags to posts to the blog.
- I learned about customising privacy settings and using features such as ‘embargo’ to decide what people can see.
- I learned about different tools and software to help set up and run a website.
It has been a worthwhile thing to do. I have enjoyed my time here and I have gained some new knowledge about the different systems they use in the office for each team as well.”
In the first few weeks of February Birmingham Settlement had the pleasure of having two girls, Lauren and Shantae, from St Paul’s Girls School with us doing their work experience. The girls were involved in a wide range of activities during their time with us, including:
- Learning how to use a wide range of office/digital equipment, including Microsoft Office, a database package, flipcameras, photocopiers and blogging software.
- Setting up a library at the Centre for the Aston Family.
- Conducting interviews with people at the Centre for the Aston Family.
- Helping with children in the Nursery and Stay and Play.
- Producing a presentation about our allotments.
- Working in the Newtown shop sorting and pricing items.
- Assessing volunteer application forms and deciding who might make a good volunteer.
- Coming up with fundraising events ideas and planning how they would run them.
We hope the experience of working with Birmingham Settlement and the wide range of activities we have been able to get them involved in has provided a useful learning experience. Speaking at the end of the placement Shantae commented, “I have learned what the real life is all about.”
This week Birmingham Settlement attended Aston University’s Voluntary Work and Gap Year fair to discuss volunteering opportunities with students. Although the fair was short the response we received from students was fantastic. We spoke to the students about the range of roles available and found that they were incredibly enthusiastic about finding placements that were suitable for them. We asked about the subjects they were studying and tried to match our existing roles to their knowledge and skills. Angie, one of our current volunteers, came with us to tell students about her experiences and why she loved volunteering with Birmingham Settlement so much, which enabled us to give students a more realistic picture of what to expect. We will be contacting everybody who gave us their details in the near future.
Next week Birmingham Settlement will be at Aston University for Student Volunteering Week to talk to students about the voluntary roles available with us, why it’s important to volunteer and how we can assist students with their career plans. If you’re an Aston University student be sure to visit us at the fair on Wednesday 22nd February between noon and 2pm at the Students’ Guild.
Last week Birmingham Settlement had a stall at the Spring Work Experience Fair at the University of Birmingham. We spoke to students about the range of opportunities available at Birmingham Settlement and how these roles could help the students to develop important skills for when they graduate. The students we spoke to were very enthusiastic about finding relevant work experience, and were eager to learn how our flexible roles could enable them to gain the skills they were looking for. We will be following up with those students who enquired over the coming weeks to discuss how we can help them.